Marilyn Thomas and Isabel Thomas
authors, Stargazing From Nowhere
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Isabel- I think I’d choose Greece because it’s so historically important and so exotic at the same time. Plus, I love a good hero, and Greek mythology is filled with wonderful heroes as well as interesting archetypes. The scenery would probably be really inspirational and I’ve always enjoyed being transported somewhere specific when I read, and there’s something really specific about Greece in its food, architecture, and history that really differentiates it from other European countries. I find that it’s always easier to write scenery when it’s really familiar to you.
Marilyn - I’ve always had a fascination with Australia, so I would probably start with Sydney, and travel through the outback, and then to the outlying cities again. It’s an incredibly rich country with a unique identity and I am in awe of their culture--they produce so much talent that goes on to excel worldwide when they are so isolated.
It just seems so pretty and vast--a great place to begin a story.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Isabel and Marilyn - We both agree that it’s definitely a cross between chick-lit and romance, whether it’s YA or adult.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Isabel - I love to read what I write, so I tend to favor chick-lit and romance. I also love non-fiction and historical books.
Marilyn - I love chick-lit and a good strong fictional story with great, complex characters in difficult situations.
What is one silly fact about you?
Isabel - I’m really good at climbing trees, fences, anything that’s high.
Marilyn - I can sense when chocolate enters the house. It doesn’t even need to be out of a bag.
What got you started on your writing journey?
Isabel and Marilyn - We’ve both always written from childhood. Marilyn had a poem published when she was nine! Isabel began as a playwright (Samuel French Inc. published her play, Bingo Babes), and we both gained some recognition with our screenplays.
That’s what started us on our writing journey together--we decided to write a couple of screenplays together.
Both romantic comedies. One of them became the foundation for this book, Stargazing from Nowhere.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the next year or so?
Isabel and Marilyn - We expect to work on the next book in the series, which we’ve decided to call Wish Carefully. We might do a book of essays on our adventures and misadventures. Kind of like sitting down with your girlfriends and sharing stories. Something like that. It’s still in its very early stages. And of course, we’d like to keep up with our blog Letters and Lipstick.
Do you have a favorite comment or question from a reader?
Isabel and Marilyn - Our favorite comment came from a group of teenage girls who were our impromptu test group for our current book. They didn’t know we were the writers, so they were free to be really honest with their feedback. One of the most rewarding things was when they said it was the most “relatable book” they’d read. That felt awesome. We both teach high school and hear teenagers all day, so we were pretty happy that they thought we got them and their nuances.
Please share about your book
Isabel and Marilyn - A rock star falls for a regular girl, who’s not that regular after all. She’s a secret blogger who hates the rock star’s band and is pretty vocal online about it. When the band unexpectedly ends up in her town, she and the rock star meet and fall for each other, all the while her secret threatens to ruin everything, and she struggles with doing the right thing while keeping the right guy.
Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
It’s very relatable, fun and also socially relevant due to all the social media we’ve incorporated into the story, which also poses the wider questions of online chatter and responsibility. Anyone who likes YA romances might gravitate towards this book, especially if they also like celebrity culture and they’re fans of bands like One Direction.
Do you have a favorite character you have written so far?
We really love our protagonist, Kristen Morgan, because she has a vision for her future which doesn’t coincide with what others want, yet she still maintains who she really is with some struggles along the way. Because she’s a teenager, and a kind girl, she can’t be completely independent yet, so she does her best in her not-so-ideal circumstances. She wants better for herself than what meets the eye, but she never thinks she is better than other people. She’s a young girl full of life, believing in her dreams and eager to get out into the world, like so many other young girls.